Hall of Fame Class of 2012: Reyna, Meola, Armstrong, DiCiccio
Former US National Team stars Claudio Reyna and Tony Meola have earned election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on the Player Ballot, while their former teammate Desmond Armstrong was the Veteran ballot choice and former US Women’s National Team coach Tony DiCiccio is this year’s Builder ballot pick, it was announced today.
Most of us believed Reyna and Meola were locks, and Captain America got a higher vote percentage (96.08%) than anyone in the modern era other than Mia Hamm (97.16% five years ago). Only Eric Wynalda and Michelle Akers have topped 90% since 2004. Marco Etcheverry finished third with 58.82%, just above where he was last year. The only real interesting thing in the rest of the top 10 (which was all they announced), at least to me, was that Jason Kreis got double the support he did a year ago (up to 30.39% from 15.84%). It may be his support will continue to grow, as we’ve seen with some others over time.
One thing appears to be pretty clear at this point, though: service for the US National Team is paramount to a majority of voters. No MLS player who didn’t play for the Nats has been elected (yet, Waldo was the first former MLS-er elected eight years ago).
I have to admit, as someone who likes to celebrate the American soccer player and our own history, if you’re going to set the bar there, there are worse things. I have voted for Etch and would continue to vote for foreign-born MLS players who have a major impact on our domestic league, but I’m not going to complain too loudly if Yanks are all that get in.
You can see the results of Player ballot voting since 2004 here.